5 Rules of Digital Strategy
In the digital age, the face of marketing has changed. Where we once paid for an audience, we now have the opportunity to build relationships with consumers. This altered or marketing strategy significantly, because traditional marketing techniques no longer work. Banner ads are the digital equivellent to billboards; the difference is that consumers can block them. Video ads are slightly more effective, but when a consumer can just mute it and switch tabs or pay a few dollars a month for add-free viewing, they become useless. It''s time to switch up the game with an effective digital strategy. Which begs the question: What is digital strategy?
Simply put, a digital strategy is a plan to accomplish a goal with the benefits of the digital marketplace and the tools within. A strong digital strategy is made up of these five core concepts.
Establish an objective.
"Make a larger profit", while it may be the ultimate goal, is not a narrow enough objective to be of any use in this case. Do you want to increase ecommerce traffic? Develop brand recognition? Differentiate your business from your competitors? Obviously, all of the above would be ideal, but you have to pick one and focus your efforts and investments on that singular goal. Floundering and waffling are the two biggest killers of online campaigns.
Perfect your marketing funnel.
Keeping track of your clients'' journey is vital. Make sure not to build any dead ends; for example, a Facebook page which links to an app which interacts with paper ads which tell them to see your Facebook page. Build your funnel this way: wide-visibility ads which draw crowds to free content (such as a blog, video, or Facebook page); which links to more information, reviews, or product specs; which offer opportunities to buy. The most important step here is that second one. Your free content is where you will build relationships with future and current customers.
Measure, refine, improve.
Google analytics and Omniture are two great resources for tracking traffic and sales, but is that all you need to be tracking? Today''s market is based on words of mouth more than ever. Likes, shares, follows and comments are crucial to an effective digital strategy. Once again, building a relationship with consumers is of vital importance.
Stay abreast of internet trends.
Know marketing trends, but understand what makes them successful. GEICO had success with their comedic gecko because the joke was smart enough to make people feel good about themselves for getting it, while maintaining an approachable atmosphere. When every other insurance company did something similar, GEICO upped the stakes with the Caveman campaign. Now we have a race to the ridiculous between insurance companies, but the internet stopped paying attention long ago. Stay ahead of the competition by letting go of the gimmick once it''s lost its flavor.
Know your meme!
Understanding internet marketing is as easy as understanding memes. Unfortunately, even the geniuses offer the analytic world haven''t quite figured out what makes a particular info-bite go viral as a meme. What we do know is the cardinal rule of the internet: if you borrow something, make it better. You don''t need to make a member from scratch; have an internet-savvy member of your team watch the current memes, and piggyback on the newest craze. Just remember that you can''t just take the meme and brand it as your own; it belongs to the public. Even just referencing it tells your potential clients, "We get it." That alone will earn loyalty and respect from your target audience.
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